Rabies is an infectious disease caused by a virus that infects nerves in warm-blooded animals. The rabies virus reaches the brain through the nervous system.
Eventually it reaches the salivary gland and the rabies virus can be transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. By this time, the disease has usually affected the brain and caused a change in behaviour of the animal. It eventually causes death.
Although the animal might not be showing any signs or symptoms at the time of the bite or scratch, the animal might still be infectious and be able to transmit rabies through its saliva.
For more information, call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or visit the health unit's website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.